configure panel height

Kevin Krammer kevin.krammer at
Mon Mar 8 19:45:49 GMT 2010

On Monday, 2010-03-08, Felix Miata wrote:
> On 2010/03/08 16:45 (GMT) Duncan composed:
> > Felix Miata posted on Mon, 08 Mar 2010 09:36:47 -0500 as excerpted:
> >> Kicker in openSUSE KControl offered tiny, small, normal, large & custom
> >> for size (which means height, as there's separate control for its
> >> width). In custom, height could be set by number of pixels or a slider.
> >> I find nothing comparable in KDE 4.4. Is it possible? If so, how?
> >>
> >>>From your description I'm unsure if you've not yet discovered how to
> >
> > resize the panels at all, or if you don't consider the current method
> > satisfactorily precise.
> I may have figured out how the devs expect it done, but DND is
>  categorically imprecise.

True, a movement based approach is often less precise but usually also easier 
on perception [1].

Panel sizes in pixels or percent mean very little without seeing them applied, 
a direct manipulation lets one achieve a state of "looks right" [2] more 

> What I want is to be able to have the same size on each login on each of my
> many machines, each of which is multiboot to on average 8 distros running
> KDE. The default height at high resolution is categorically about half a
> usable height, and so needs changing for each new user/install. In KControl
> this was easy enough to fix by selecting medium.

Storage and retrieval of the values is a different issue than adjusting the 
value manually.
I am quite certain that the panel geometry is not stored as a series of mouse 
movements but more likely as a discrete numerical value.

I would bet that storage and retrieval is done through KDE's configuration 
framework, thus allowing to copy the value to configs of other users, to the 
template for new users, to the global config, to a locked down profile, etc.

> > The whole desktop is now "plasma".  This includes the panels (kde3's
> > kicker), the desktop itself (kdesktop), and all the shipped-with-kde-sc
> > widgets, kmenu, etc, now called plasmoids.
> Whoever decided to change the name of the main toolbar from Kicker to the
> overly generic and unsearchable "panel" should be summarily shot.

Kicker is the name of the application handling panels on a KDE 3 workspace, 
most workspace providers just call it $desktop-panel.
On a KDE 4 workspace the application handling panels is called plasma-desktop.

I am not an English native speaker but panel seems to be the standard term for 
these bar like container visualisations so it is probably easier 
understandable to use that term instead of "Kicker".

> > The key to configuring much of plasma is the "cashew", aka "toolbox"
> > icons.  These disappear on the panels when widgets are locked, altho the
> > one on the desktop remains.  Thus, first unlock widgets (from the desktop
> > toolbox, context-button clicking on the desktop if that option is
> > enabled, or context-clicking on the panel and most plasmoids).
> >
> > With widgets unlocked, again either context-click on the panel in
> > question, click its cashew, or context-click a plasmoid (may be disabled
> > on some of them).  Select panel options if appropriate, then panel
> > settings.
> All the above seems hopelessly complex, unintuitive, and keyboard hostile.
>  To me the only intuitive configuration options are:
> 1-right click context menu directly on the object one wishes to change

As Duncan already wrote, one of the option is the panel's context menu.

> 2-"Personal Settings", as a first level choice by whatever name, from the
> main menu starter at screen extreme lower left

Systemsettings could probably be added to the default favorites, typing 
settings into the menu's search or equivalent inputs (e.g krunner, ALT+F2) 
should get to that quite quickly as well.

> > A panel toolbar should popup, with the various tools for moving,
> > resizing, setting behavior (always-on-top, auto-hide, etc), etc.
> >
> > Assuming a horizontal toolbar, there's a "height" button.  Click and drag
> > on this to the appropriate height -- up to a third of the screen height
> > (so I can do 400 px tall panels on my 1920x1200 screen), and down quite
> > tiny.
> This is where the non-intuition shouts. The button is on the popup menu,
>  some distance from any edge of the object to adjust. When to click, or
>  not, or drag, is enough to to make one think Vista, or Microsoft Bob.

That's true.
Fortunately the panels are widgets just like any other parts of a KDE Plasma 
desktop and alternative panel widgets can provide whatever means they'd like 
to have for configuration (e.g. pixel value inputs).


[1] e.g. electrical engineering often employs analogue gauges inspite of less 
precision because they present changes, trends and general assessments ("value 
in the green range") in a way that requires less abstract thinking.

[2] e.g. for me that means making the bottom panel tall as required to make 
the quick launcher display two rows. Doesn't really matter whether I could 
have made it one or two pixels smaller by trial-and-error'ing me through the 
possible value range
Kevin Krammer, KDE developer, xdg-utils developer
KDE user support, developer mentoring
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